India has supported the Russian proposal to keep Syrian stockpiles of chemical weapons in safe custody while pointing out that its two main postulates — no to military intervention and move toward a political settlement, possibly with a Geneva-II conference — remained unchanged.
In its standard formulation, India said it would prefer acknowledged chemical weapons stockpiles to be destroyed and, pending their elimination, to be kept in safe custody.
“If there are any proposals which are moving in this direction, then obviously India will see it as a positive development,” said spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin on Tuesday.
The Indian stand has been spelt out in considerable detail over the past few days. First by the Foreign Office a week back when it categorically ruling out a military solution to the conflict and supported the move to hold an international conference on Syria (Geneva-II) involving the Syrian government and various opposition factions.
At a time when the threat of a U.S.-led military strike was at its height, the Foreign Office counselled patience till the U.N. inspectors had submitted their report. The U.N. team was in Damascus on a Syrian government request to probe a chemicals weapons attack, allegedly by the rebels, earlier this year.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reiterated this formulation during a dinner on September 5 at the St Petersburg G-20 summit. India was not in favour of armed action aimed at regime change as this would be violation of international law. And action, if necessary, should be authorised by the U.N. Security Council, he said joining his voice with Presidents of Russia, China, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, and South Africa in speaking against military action not authorised by the U.N. Security Council.